Drummer Devin Gray, a first-time leader on the Firehouse 12 Jazz Concert Series, brings his quartet to New Haven on Friday October 5. With this all-star group of improvisers, Gray has the perfect ensemble to express his unique concept of how to structure a tune: a delicate balance of open space for the improvisers, alongside the refined rhythmic sense only a drummer could bring. This performance finds them promoting a new album of music, Dirigo Rataplan II (out on September 21) and in the midst of a north-east tour.
Reviewing this group's debut Dirigo Rataplan (Skirl) from 2012, Cadence magazine rated the disc "fantastic" and JazzTimes said the work represented "the work of a young artist who knows who he is." Discussing his creative evolution from the first disc to this new release, Gray says "the experiences I've had over the past six years have been so inspiring - in the intense New York jazz scene of course, but also in Europe where players in improvised music are so open to different genres and have this holistic approach to art and creativity."
In addition to Dirigo Rataplan, Gray leads the quartet Relative Resonance, featuring Chris Speed, Kris Davis, and Chris Tordini and a trio, Cloudsounds, with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and pianist Corey Smythe. He has also recorded as a sideman on trumpeter Nate Wooley's release Argonautica (Firehouse 12 Records), Daniel Levin's trio Knuckleball, and a trio with pianist Santiago Leibson. He has performed with Dave Liebman, Tony Malaby, Uri Caine, Anrea Parkins, Satoko Fuji, Marc Ducret and others.
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Featuring: Devin Gray (drums), Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone), Michael Formanek (bass), Dave Ballou (trumpet).